MARRIAGE DIGEST: French election results mean good news for traditionalists
PARIS (BP)--When French voters rejected Socialist Segolene Royal during the presidential election May 6, they also rejected a candidate who had vowed to introduce a bill that would legalize "gay marriage."
Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy of the Union for a Popular Movement party defeated Royal in a runoff, 53-47 percent. Although "gay marriage" wasn't a major issue in the campaign, it was an issue Royal broached last year in an interview with the homosexual publication Tetu.
"Opening up marriage to same-sex couples is needed in the name of equality, visibility and respect," Royal was quoted as saying. She also said, "It is essential that everybody has equal rights and dignities and the chance to express themselves freely."
In the interview she also supported adoption by same-sex couples, something that currently is illegal in France.
"Whether the parents are homosexual or heterosexual, adoption is above all a family project," she was quoted as saying. "From the moment a same-sex couple is recognised as a family, this family has the right to conceive of family projects."
Sarkozy opposes "gay marriage" and homosexual adoption.
At the time of Royal's comments, French Family Minister Philippe Bas backed the natural, traditional model of parenting.
"I think today, the findings of modern psychology -- which can certainly develop -- indicate that it is better for a child to have a dad and a mum," Bas said, according to Reuters.
Royal, in the interview, also referred to marriage as a "so-called bourgeois institution."
"Gay marriage" is legal in five countries: Canada, Spain, South Africa, Belgium and the Netherlands.
IOWA CASE GETS HEARING -- A judge in Iowa heard arguments May 4 in a case that could make the state the first in the heartland to legalize "gay marriage." The lawsuit on behalf of six homosexual couples was filed in late 2005 by Lambda Legal, a homosexual activist legal firm.
"When you look at equal protection in this country, no court has found it's a fundamental right," attorney Roger Kuhle, who argued against redefining marriage, told Judge Robert Hanson, according to The Des Moines Register. "Efforts to redefine the law to include marriage between same-sex people is not a fundamental right."
The lawsuit seeks to overturn a Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1998 by the Iowa legislature prohibiting "gay marriage."
"This is not a hypothetical issue -- these are real people," attorney Dennis Johnson told Hanson in urging him to issue a ruling redefining marriage, according to The Register. "These people are here because the state treats them like second-class citizens."
Chuck Hurley, president of the conservative Iowa Family Policy Center, told The Register he thought oral arguments went well.
"I think the points were made that it would be an extreme makeover of Iowa law and 6,000 years of law for a judge to overturn," Hurley said. "It would be a shock and surprise for a judge to do something this extreme."
The case could make its way into the presidential election, since Iowa hosts its caucus in January -- the nation's first presidential test.
Whatever Hanson decides, his ruling almost certainly will be appealed.
IMPORTANT ELECTION IN MASS.? -- A little-watched special election in the Massachusetts state House could theoretically impact the future of "gay marriage" there. Three candidates -- a Democrat, a Republican and an independent -- are running to fill the open seat for the 11th Norfolk District. The election is May 15 -- approximately one month before legislators are scheduled to meet June 14 in a constitutional convention to consider a marriage amendment. Amendment supporters say they have enough votes for passage, but the election could still make an impact -- particularly if Republican Doug Obey, who says he would cast a "yes" vote to place it on the 2008 ballot -- wins. Democrat Steve Bilafer and Independent Paul McMurtry would vote against the amendment, according to the Daily News newspaper. A Democrat previously held the seat but resigned to join Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick's administration.
Supporters say they have 57 votes for the amendment. It needs 50, or one-fourth of the legislators in order to place it on the ballot. The amendment essentially would reverse a 2003 landmark decision by the state high court legalizing "gay marriage."